The majority of participants in a poll launched by Elon Musk on Twitter voted this Monday for the businessman to abandon the social network.
57.5% of more than 17 million voters said they were in favor of Musk leaving, who promised to respect the result, but has not yet reacted.
“Should I leave Twitter management?”, asked the billionaire overnight from Sunday to Monday on the social network. “I will stick to the results of this survey,” he had promised.
In conversation with one of his followers on Twitter, Musk assured that he did not have a designated successor. He said in another post that the platform was “on a fast track to bankruptcy”.
Since the takeover in late October, the head of Tesla and SpaceX has caused a stir by laying off half of Twitter’s workforce, reinstating suspended accounts, suspending those of journalists and trying to launch a new paid subscription.
“From the failed subscription plan to banning journalists to daily political controversies, it’s been an all-out storm as advertisers have fled, leaving Twitter to widen its deficit,” noted Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush. Securities, which estimates the company’s potential losses at $4 billion a year.
According to investment adviser Gary Black, Musk is also under pressure from Tesla’s board to ditch the reins of Twitter and refocus on the automaker, whose shares have fallen more than 33% since acquiring the social network.
“The numbers are hard to ignore,” Black tweeted.
The survey launched by Musk “has nothing to do with democracy,” tweeted Christophe Deloire, secretary general of Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and president of the Forum on Information and Democracy. “It is degree zero, even the opposite of democracy. Legitimacy cannot come from the vote of internet users”.
This research came after a new decision by the social network that caused a lot of reaction.
Misunderstanding of the new rules
Twitter announced on Sunday that it would no longer be able to post links to competing networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Mastodon or Truth Social, Donald Trump’s social network.
It is now forbidden to tweet a message like: “Thanks for following me @ID on Instagram”, indicated the platform.
These new rules aroused the incomprehension of many users, including Jack Dorsey, co-founder and former head of Twitter.
After some accounts were suspended under the new rule, including that of investor Paul Graham, Musk qualified his decision.
He first tweeted that instead of targeting individual tweets, the policy would be limited to “suspending accounts only when the primary purpose of that account is to promote competitors.”
The tempestuous billionaire then stated that “major political changes” on the social network would systematically be subject to a vote.
Last week, Musk deleted and then restored the accounts of several American journalists at CNN, the New York Times and the Washington Post in particular, prompting the European Union and UN to react.
The Vice-President of the European Commission even threatened the businessman with sanctions, and the European Parliament asked him to come testify before him.
The multibillionaire suspended for the first time on Wednesday @elonjet, an account that automatically reported his private jet trips, then those of journalists who tweeted about the decision, accusing them of putting his family at risk.
They were reinstated on Saturday, but some said they were told to delete certain posts if they wanted to make full use of the platform.
On Saturday night, the Twitter account of Washington Post journalist Taylor Lorenz was suspended for several hours.
“Elon Musk suspended my Twitter account,” said the journalist, who covers the technology sector, on her blog.
Your account was restored on Sunday.
Since taking over Twitter, Musk has reinstated several banned accounts, including Trump’s. He also ended the fight against misinformation linked to Covid-19.
On the other hand, it suspended rapper Kanye West’s account after the publication of several messages considered anti-Semitic and refused the return to the platform of far-right conspirator Alex Jones.